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Southwest Aerial of Grand Cayman by Courtney Platt
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Frequently Asked Questions About Grand Cayman

Can I have a sandy barefoot beach and great snorkling in Grand Cayman?

The short answer, unfortunately, is no. The only way to have a perfect sandy beach is to not have a vibrant coral reef nearby.  While the west-facing beaches of Rum Point and Seven Mile Beach offer the perfect barefoot swimming experience, you won’t find much to discover underwater.  The best snorkeling is found on the north, south, and east coasts of the island where the protective coral reef provides sanctuary for a wide variety of marine life.  These areas also have pockets of natural beach with plenty of sand as well.  You just can’t expect to have 100% of both in the same area.

We recommend guests choose their accommodations first based on whether they need a 2-8 bedroom private villa, or a 1-4 bedroom condo with shared amenities, then factor for location and value.  Please, don’t be shy to ask us for suggestions!  We can help steer you to the right villa based on your preferences and expectations.  Our reservations and on-island staff know the island and these waters intimately!

Is it safe to travel to Grand Cayman?

An overseas British territory, Grand Cayman is a parliamentary democracy with an English common law legal system. With less than 3% unemployment, the island enjoys a low crime rate & high standard of living.

Is there Uber or Lyft in Grand Cayman?

Unfortunately no. Grand Cayman does have taxi service from the airport to the Seven Mile Beach Area. If you are staying on the west side of the island, then we recommend you rent a car.

What is the best time of year to travel to Grand Cayman?

All year! In Grand Cayman, the weather is always sweet. Winter or summer, our climate varies by only 10 degrees on average making Grand Cayman enjoyable year-round. If you want to avoid crowds, the best time to visit Grand Cayman would be late summer to early fall. The busiest time of year is in the winter around Christmas time.

What are the best things to do in Grand Cayman?

World-class snorkeling, scuba diving, & kite-boarding are just the beginning. Whether you like to relax or be adventurous, Grand Cayman has it all! The most popular thing to do on island is to get on a snorkel charter to Stingray City. You can meet these beautiful creatures up close since they are domesticated to the area. Another guest favorite is Starfish Point where you can hang out on a soft beach and an ocean full of Starfish!

For nature lovers, you’ll want to check out the bioluminescent bay at night. There are electric boat tours and kayaking tours you can take that’ll show you the magical lit up sea at night.

Grand Cayman is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so if relaxing oceanside is more your vibe then we’ve got you covered.

What airlines fly to Grand Cayman?

A world away, but closer than you think.  Cayman Airways, Air Cananda, American Airlines, Delta, British Airways, jetBlue, Southwest, and United all fly to the beautiful Grand Cayman Islands. With over 9 airlines flying non-stop from 20+ gateway cities across North America, getting to Grand Cayman has never been easier. Find out more about flying to Grand Cayman on this page.

Should I ship down snorkel/gear, wine, special foods, or luggage to Grand Cayman?

Shipping charges to Grand Cayman are very expensive, especially for heavy items.  On top of that, you can expect to pay up to 22% import taxes.  Overall, with the chance for loss, delay or pilferage, it’s just not worth the extra costs and headache unless critically necessary. 

For wines and spirits, we suggest visiting our preferred vendor and Silver Thatch neighbor Jacques Scott, the island’s largest purveyor of premium wine, beer and spirits.  Jacques Scott also takes pre-orders for pick up at our Silver Thatch Welcome Center, or pre-arranged delivery to your villa after arrival.

Gourmet frozen meats like tenderloin, ribs, steaks, etc. can be packed in a cooler and checked in on your flight as luggage so long as it is not packed with dry ice. Customs requires the meat to be wrapped in the original USDA packaging, so leave those home-made venison steaks at home.  If questioned, just declare that it is “for personal consumption” while on island.

Can I bring my pet or service animal to Grand Cayman?

Sadly, the most common answer is no.

Nearly all villas and condos have a strict no pets policy.  Similarly, the Cayman government follows a very strict veterinary protocol for the importation of live animals that requires a 6-month screening period.  You can review all the requirements & procedures for importing pets here.  

Note to private jet arrivals:  Should you arrive with an animal that has not been cleared in advance by the Government, there are no quarantine options.  You will be denied entry and instructed to immediately depart the island with your animal.

Do you need a Visa to enter Grand Cayman?

While citizens of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and most EU countries do not require a travel visa, passport holders from many Asian, African, and Middle East countries will need a travel visa to pass through Customs.  It is best to check the Cayman Islands’ government website about visa requirements.

Is the water safe to drink in Grand Cayman?

Yes, water on Grand Cayman is safe to cook with and drink.  The Cayman Water Authority regulates 2 water purification companies that supply fresh drinking water across the island through underground pipes to each property & condo.  Visit waterauthority.ky for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Villas

Does our villa have snorkeling equipment?

Leave the heavy fins & snorkel gear at home!  We know how hard it can be to pack for vacation.  That’s why we provide an array of complimentary items to enhance your vacation experience.

Upon arrival at our Silver Thatch Welcome Center, guests can select from a variety of free check-out items for use during their stay:

  • ScubaPro snorkel equipment – kids to adult sizes
  • Baby equipment- from booster seats to baby gates, Pack-n-Plays and high-chairs
  • Apple TVs to stream your favorite shows and movies
  • Portable bluetooth speakers to enjoy your favorite tunes and playlists
  • Beverage coolers, Keurig coffee makers, and other small convenience items
  • Shower chairs, portable fans, games, etc.

Available free to our guests, we only ask that you sign and return all check-out items and accept liability for their care and use. 

Our villa guests are also provided a personalized Guest Benefit Card that can save them hundreds of dollars at preferred-vendor restaurants, water-sports operators and specialty vendors throughout Grand Cayman.  Details provided at check in.

What happens to my deposit/reservation in the event of a pandemic or hurricane?

Below you will see our cancellation policy with updated exceptions for pandemics or hurricanes. Currently in relation to COVID-19, we are offering this Relaxed Cancellation Policy on all bookings made after March 14, 2020.

1). Once guests signed rental contract is confirmed with 50% (of rent) deposit, should guest cancel in writing prior to 60 days of arrival, half of the initial deposit (25% of rent) will be refunded to the card on file, less a 3.50% processing/admin fee. Should villa owner be able to replace the reservation in whole or in part, the (prorated) un-refunded balance of the initial deposit will be returned less any re-booking costs incurred. Should the owner not be able to replace the reservation, the balance of the initial deposit is forfeited.

PANDEMIC/EPIDEMIC EXCEPTION: Should a declared Pandemic or Epidemic prevent reasonable travel options to the destination, the guest may cancel and the entire initial deposit will be refunded, less a processing/admin fee of 3.50%.

2). Once full payment has been made (or the 60-day mark has passed and the guest has not paid the balance), should guest cancel in writing, GCVC will refund any occupancy taxes, cleaning fees and refundable damage deposits to the card on file. The dates will be opened on the calendar for rebooking. Should the reservation be replaced in whole or part, the guest will receive up to 100% of monies paid less rebooking charges incurred. Should GCVC not be able to replace the reservation, rent and service fee will be forfeited; however, guest will receive a credit for 50% of rent paid to be used for a similar stay at the same property, taken within 13 months of the original date of arrival.

PANDEMIC/EPIDEMIC EXCEPTION: Should a declared Pandemic or Epidemic prevent reasonable travel options after full payment, the guest may cancel up until day of arrival and all payments will be refunded, less a 3.50% processing/admin fee.

HURRICANE WARNING EXCEPTION: Should a hurricane warning (not a hurricane watch) affect Grand Cayman’s ability to welcome guests; the guest will have the option of rescheduling the trip with generous owner flexibility or a full 100% refund of all monies paid with no deduction.

We strongly advise the purchase of CSA trip interruption insurance to indemnify the risk of cancellation, weather delay, airline interruption, medical reason for non-travel, etc.

Please know that very few insurers will cover a declared pandemic.

Can we have our villa pre-stocked with groceries and beverages?

Absolutely! We recommend Hurley’s and Kirk Market. They both do a great job, know all the properties and their managers, and can make a great first impression.

I want a private villa, but I also want to be near “the action.” Can’t I have both?

To be in the epicenter of Cayman’s more active lifestyle, you really need to book a condo or villa on Seven Mile Beach.  But be advised, you’ll also be in the midst of the crowds, traffic, construction and congestion. The better restaurants will require reservations and what few beach bars and dance clubs there are will close at midnight.  What action there is here can be rather subdued compared to big-city nightlife in the US or Canada.

Grand Cayman is a family-friendly island with plenty of attractions, restaurants, resorts, and activities to keep you busy whether you stay near Seven Mile Beach, or across the eastern districts.  If you elect to stay on Seven Mile Beach, we encourage you to rent a car and explore the eastern districts one day…and vice-versa.  It’s just two very different vacation experiences all available on this small Caribbean paradise.